Home | News    Tuesday 10 May 2005

Sudan suspends publication of daily over blasphemy claim

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KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 9, 2005 (AP) — Sudanese authorities indefinitely suspended the pro-Islamist Al Wifaq daily for running articles considered blasphemous, the official Sudan Media Center said Monday.

A Sudanese reads a daily newspaper. Sudanese authorities indefinitely suspended the pro-Islamist Al Wifaq daily for running articles considered blasphemous.

The order was issued by Sudan’s press and publications attorney, Yasser Bashir Bukhari, and follows Sunday’s arrest of editor Mohamed Taha Mohamed Ahmed for violating a three day suspension order and ignoring another ruling banning the media from writing about the case.

His paper will remain closed until a Khartoum court rules in his own case.

Ahmed first appeared before Khartoum’s Northern Court on Thursday for republishing articles from the Internet that questioned the parentage of the Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. He denied the charges and apologized in a letter to the press.

Government and independent Islamic scholars, including members of the Ministry of Religious affairs, met late Sunday in an apparent bid to defuse the outrage caused by the articles.

The scholars, in a statement read over Omdurman Radio on Monday, said "the whole matter is being handled by the Sudanese judiciary and a suitable atmosphere should be created away from any influence or pressure."

Hundreds of angry Sudanese gathered Thursday outside the court demanding the death sentence for Ahmed. Blasphemy and insulting Islam can bring the death penalty in Sudan, which has been governed by strict Islamic Sharia law since 1983.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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